Back home for the first time in 6 weeks and desperate for a win, the Bucs outplayed the Cardinals and their rookie quarterback Kyler Murray when it mattered the most.
Rookie defensive back Jamel Dean picked Murray off at the Tampa Bay 8-yard line and the Buccaneers then went 92 yards for the eventual game-winning touchdown in a wild 30 – 27 victory.
The Bucs had been away from Raymond James Stadium since September 22nd, including one “home away from home game” in London, England. Tampa Bay had dropped four straight to face the Cardinals coming in and first-year Coach Bruce Arians (above) going against his old team.
Arians coached the Cards from 2013-17, including two playoff berths.
Tampa Bay played well in the first half and took a 17 – 13 lead to intermission, when QB Jameis Winston hit O.J. Howard with a 10 yard touchdown pass with :08 to go in the second quarter.
Undaunted, Murray came out in the second half and hit Christian Kirk with a 69-yard bomb, his second TD catch of the day, and later another a 15-yard scoring strike for Kirk in the fourth quarter that put in Arizona up for the first time all day at 27 – 23.
The Bucs then gave away a chance to take the lead, when running back Ronald Jones fumbled the ball after a reception without being touched and Arizona defensive back Budda Baker recovered at their 44-yard line.
Murray had a chance to all but put the game away with the Cardinals leading by 4 and time winding down under five minutes. However, as they moved into scoring range, Murray’s pass was intercepted by the former second round pick, Dean. It was Murray’s first interception in over 200 pass attempts, which had set an NFL rookie record.
Then QB Jameis Winston led Tampa Bay on a 92-yard scoring march that included him hitting Chris Godwin for 49 yards on a catch-and-run. Then, Mike Evans drew a pass interference penalty that critically put the ball down to the 1-yard line. Initially, there was no call on the field but the New York officiating command center reviewed the play and ruled the Cardinal defensive back had taken Evans down in the end zone.
Three plays later running back Peyton Barber rumbled in with 1:43 remaining to put Tampa Bay back in front for good 30-27.
— NFL (@NFL) November 10, 2019
Winston finished 30-48 for 358 yards 1 TD and 2 INTs and became the first Bucs QB in history to throw for 300 yards or more in four straight games.
Still, Arizona only needed a field goal to tie, but Murray could not get the Cardinals into range. This as, he was hit as he threw going deep left again to Kirk with :15 seconds left and the ball fell incomplete.
And then, on the final play of the game, he was looking long to WR Pharoh Cooper and the pass was broken up again by the rookie Dean to end it.
The Cards rookie #1 overall pick tallied 27-44 for 344 yards with 3 TDs but the costly INT, as well.
Tampa Bay improved to 3 – 6 on the season and will now play host to the New Orleans Saints at home next week Arizona drops to 3 – 6 – 1 with the defeat
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.